Title: A Wild Sheploo has appeared

Summary: A combination of cabin fever, hunger and medications results in a fanciful nightmare for John Shepard. Post-Mass Effect 3.

Disclaimer: Mass Effect is property of EA Games and BioWare. If I owned this game… well, I'd be swimming in cash and angry fans.

It was weird, he knew it wasn't real, but his mind accepted it as reality and one that was happening right before his eyes on a television screen. Surrounded by the crew of the Normandy SR-2, they all watched as a giant Thane fought an equally titan-esque Thresher Maw—ducking and weaving his elegant attacks in quick and clumsy maneuvers, burrowing into the earth or lashing out with its very body.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, Shepard got to thinking that he could his friend, though Thane looked no more in distress than when usually locked in hand-to-hand combat. Thane needed his help and there was nothing that would stop him leaving the ship and helping. He pulled away from the group gathered around him, ignoring the concerned look from Ashley, and headed for the spiral stairs that materialized before him. Jogging briskly, Shepard planned his plan of attack out through a series of well-placed footsteps he followed up the stairs; when he reached the top he felt as big as child, peeking over the mouth of the mountain and watching the fight with eyes that sparkled with awe. Time seemed to stop, the Thresher Maw froze in its place, mouth open wide to devour its opponent; Thane turned to face him and extended his hand toward him.

John flinched when he felt the Drell's fingers against the sides of his head, raising his hands he gripped the edges of his fingers as he was lifted from the mouth of the mountain and set on the ground. In the midst of his awe, he failed to realize he stood as tall as the Thresher Maw and the world itself seemed to too small to carter to him. Kneeling down he observed his sister and watched her chew contentedly on pumpkin pie, across from him the Thresher Maw roared in objection to being ignored. Jane glanced up from her meal, fingers poised against her tongue and glared at her brother.

The Thresher Maw roared again, John claimed a pie from the table before Jane and swallowed it whole. Despite her size, she slapped him across the nose and proceeded to push the table across the frozen tundra. He could've gone after her, stretched an arm across the way and brought her right back, but for whatever reason he didn't.

Instead he broke down and cried; he cried for the loss his pie, his sister and the absence of Thane, completely oblivious to the Thresher Maw about to pounce.

Somewhere between the tears and the curling up on the ground, Shepard opened his eyes. The smooth ceiling stared back at him, distracting his watering eyes from the light of the overhead lights on his right. Below him, the innards of his stomach growled filling up the silence of the quiet room. Bleary-eyed, lightheaded, sore and restless, he remembered he hadn't eaten since yesterday. He ran a hand through his reemerging hair, looking to the right he regarded the sleeping form of his mother hunched in the chair, his hoddie draped over her shoulders. "Hey," John averted his gaze from his mother toward the knock on the door of his hospital room.

His mirror image, Matthew Veldhorst (otherwise known as his biological father) and David Shepard stood in outside the room; one held a box in his hand, the other wore puzzled expression. "We could hear your stomach from out there," Shepard sr. said, eyes shifting over Matthew, a look which was returned—albeit with slight irritation. John eyed the box in Matthew's hand and asked, "Is that pie?"

Matthew and David shared another look. "Uh, yeah, it is," Matthew answered. "Why?"

Shepard shook his head as his mother began to stir and his stomach growled a second time. "No reason," He replied.